Editorial: Question of the day: To wear a mask or not?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 14, 2020

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To wear a mask or not wear a mask? That is the question.

While volunteering at a plant sale Saturday, it was appropriate for me to wear a mask since I would be within six feet of some people.

So I did.

It sucked.

Admittedly, my mask isn’t of the highest quality, but it does its duty, keeping all those nasty germs that hide in my mouth and nose from spewing out into the world. You’re welcome, world.

It also protected me from all those nasty germs (and believe me, they are much worse than mine) that came spewing from other folks’ mouths. Pay attention to someone talking without a mask, sometimes you can witness the spittle coming out of their mouths when they talk. I witnessed just that on Saturday. Thank goodness for that mask, coronavirus or not.

The mask really didn’t bother me much, until … I started to breathe. It was cold Saturday morning. My breath is hot (no jokes here). My glasses instantly became covered in a fog. Talking made it worse.

I was told you need a mask that cinches around the nose to prevent this from happening. Others said that didn’t work for them, their glasses still became foggy.

Normally, I wear contact lenses most of the time. Since the coronavirus, I’ve been wearing my glasses. In my way of thinking, having on glasses may prevent something from making it into my eye, traveling to my lungs and testing the little strength I have left.

But Saturday went fine. I learned to adjust the mask so it wouldn’t fog as badly, and how to politely step back to make an adjustment so I could see who I was talking to, or what plant I was trying to identify.

So, right now, wearing a mask is an off and on proposition for me. If I’m at a place where masks are expected or required or where there are likely to be people more vulnerable to the coronavirus, certainly the mask will go on. If I’m somewhere that is filled with healthy looking people without masks, I’m more likely to leave mine in the truck. That doesn’t mean the hand sanitizer doesn’t get rubbed all over my hands and face before and after leaving the truck, but the mask stays back.

I admire people who wear their masks all of the time. You are the ones doing what we should all be doing. No one should ever question your reasons or sanity. You’re doing the right thing.

To those of you who refuse to wear a mask at any time, shame on you. I know it’s hard to believe things are as bad as our governments say, but they are working from knowledge of how a virus spreads. They surely don’t know enough about this virus yet, but they all are spread the same way, and the measures being taken now are for our own good.

Yes, I’m a fence sitter when it comes to opening up the economy again, or in other words, allowing restaurants, salons, gyms and other places to re-open. Officials don’t know how many people would get sick if a total re-opening would take place. They also don’t know how many people would get sick if we continue with the current measures. Sure, there are a lot of folks out there — doctors, hospital workers and emergency workers — who claim to know reasons why we should re-open or remain closed — but those people are just spouting their opinions — mostly on Facebook, where honest to goodness, people will believe anything. People really do want to have what they feel in their gut verified by someone, and they’ll believe it on Facebook, whether there’s any truth to it or not. It drives me crazy.

But that’s another story. For another time. Now, I’m going home. No mask required. Especially because it would get in the way of my favorite pasttime.

Mike Barnhardt is editor of the Davie County Enterprise-Record.